Hallways very rarely get the attention they deserve because we’re always using them to get from one room to another. Yet, that transition from one space to the next doesn’t have to be ho-hum. Think of your hallways as a unique space that you can turn into a little jewel box or something that gives visitors a reason to stop and admire.

The bright side

Hallways, by their usual placement between rooms, typically lack windows and can often be dark spaces save for a standard flush-mount light. These lights really don’t put out much wattage and make the hallway a dark and depressive space. Instead, replace that dim fixture with something that attracts attention and adds panache.

There are many lighting options to choose from. If your hallway has plenty of wall space, think about creating your own art gallery and install recessed spotlights that can wash the walls in light and create a focal point out of your artwork.

Another lighting option is to hang one or more pendant lights. Having two lights in the hallway, or three if your hallway is extra-long, can add visual interest and brighten up the space so that it’s a light and welcoming space.

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Of course, not much can beat natural light, and if that’s your preference look at installing a solar tube. Instead of the dated-looking box skylight, these circular tubes direct natural sunlight into your home, look more like standard recessed lights, and are an excellent choice when your hallway is very dark. Though possible to install in two-story houses, solar tubes are easier to install in single story homes.

Lastly, sconces are commonplace in European hotels and hallways, and adding sconces to a hallway always looks wonderful, adds interest and brightens it up.

Visual interest

Because hallways are our home’s transit areas, they often lack design and definition. If there’s space, a console table and chairs is always a great look. One of the fastest and easiest ways to add interest is with pattern. Installing wallpaper or using a stencil will give your hallway immediate interest, especially if it has a pattern. Don’t be afraid to be creative either.

Rather than painting the hallway, consider painting the doors in the hallway a different color to create interest. You could also add wainscoting and a chair rail to create texture in the hallway. To add photos or prints, think about topping your wainscoting with a two-inch ledge to hold photographs or prints. If you’re not handy enough for wood wainscoting, opt for faux wainscoting by either painting or wallpapering where traditional wainscoting would go.

Mirrors are a stylish option for a hallway, especially if they reflect a pretty view from a nearby window. A collection of sunburst mirrors would look fresh and on-trend. However, do avoid placing mirrors at the end of a hallway. Besides feeling odd staring at yourself walking down the hallway, some mirrors from a long distance can often distort images. And no one wants to look like they’re in a circus funhouse. However, a single piece of artwork placed at the end of a long hallway, is always a terrific option and has the effect of drawing you into the hallway, particularly if it’s lighted well.